Iím not new to bee keeping, Iíve been out of the game for about 2 years. My question, 2 years ago I lost my hive and put the 2 deeps in the basement with all the comb and honey still on the frames. Should I reuse or should I start from scratch. Iím pretty sure I lost the hive to mites over the winter. Any advice is surely welcomed.
If you lost them to mites, the equipment is fine to reuse. Check the frames for moth damage and mold. If its not too serious, a strong hive will be able to clean them up. If some are damaged, you should consider buying some new frames/foundation and have them use that to build up and add the damaged frames when they are strong. Also consider going with two hives. It gives you an advantage if you need resources in one of them. Of course, devise a plan for treating for mites. Good luck. J
I had dry and brittle comb a couple seasons back with just a little mold. I used the hive tool and scraped it down close to the base of the cells on both sides. I didn't follow it that closely but they either replaced it or rebuilt because later in the season it was drawn out. I was reaching my limit on buying foundation and had enough foundationless frames already. That was old honey frames that I put on above the deep . (I usually leave them one deep and one medium anyway).
Still in my first year, I bought old hive components that had some mold. The package I bought did fine. Cleaned it up and started laying fast. An n of one, but it worked well. Is brittle bad? Is mold bad? Love to hear from the experienced crowd.
Brittle is not a problem, that's just the cold. If that hive was warmed up by a colony of bees it would be just perfect. Just throwing out an alternative though if you are worried, put 5 frames of fresh foundation in one side, 5 frames of old comb in the other side and see which side the bees go to. Pretty sure it will be the drawn out side.
I’m cleaning up a dead out in preparation for packages next week. There is a lot of good comb, but also wax moth larvae and eggs scattered about (more eggs than worms, maybe one worm per frame). I’ve put the frames out in the sum and ran an AFB test (negative) just to be sure.
What are your thoughts on reusing this kind of comb (light wax moth damage) with the new packages?